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How to Make Kombucha, a Naturally Fermented Health Drink

Kombucha is considered to be a health drink because it contains natural bacterias that can help replenish the bacterial balance in the colon. The kombucha itself is the yeast/bacteria combination which is formed into what is called a ‘SCOBY’ or Symbiotic Colony of Yeast and Bacteria. The SCOBY looks like a slimy pancake; some people refer to it as the ‘mother.’

GT Kombucha

The ‘mother’ kombucha culture is what is used to make your own kombucha batches at home, in the same way that people brew their own beer. The kombucha drink will also become ‘fizzy’ when fermented, but the alcohol content is extremely minimal.

You can start your own kombucha culture by buying a container of GT Kombucha Drink from any WholeFoods store. Drink enough of the liquid to leave about 1/4 inside the glass; leave out at room temperature with the cap off but covered in cloth. In about one week, you will see your very own SCOBY pancake floating on top and you are ready to start fermenting!

All of the details on how to make your own Kombucha at home are detailed in the above video, filmed at my friend’s organic farm in Maui, Hawaii. Here is a brief set of directions which I received when I purchased my SCOBY online through Dom’s Kefir Grains:

Directions for Kombucha:

1. Prepare tea with 4 teaspoons of conventional loose tea or 4 teabags in 4 cups of boiling water. Steep for 5 minutes. (Green tea, black tea or a combination is suitable).

2. Strain tea in an 8-cup glass jar and dissolve 1/3 cups sugar (either raw sugar or organic refined white sugar).

3. Let sweetened tea cool to room temperature, then pour kombucha ‘mother’ with the solution in which she was stored.

4. Place a clean cloth or paper napkin over the mouth of the jar and secure in place with an elastic rubber band.

5. Ferment, leaving undisturbed, for 7-12 days at room temperature range of 19C – 25C (66F – 79F).

6. Strain kombucha tea and repeat the whole process.

As for how much kombucha to drink daily to enjoy it’s health benefits, I would recommend about 1-2 cups per day or 250ml- 500ml daily. It’s a nice refreshing drink to enjoy on a hot day, and the natural bacteria will help with digestion and even can help stimulate the bowels, thus avoiding constipation. Kombucha can help lessen any overgrowth of candida and is good for anyone suffering from intestinal parasites. If you are addicted to pop or soft drinks, and are looking for a fizzy drink that is still considered healthy, kombucha is the drink for you.

More Healthy Recipes:

How to Make Kombucha, a Naturally Fermented Health Drink

Kombucha is considered to be a health drink because it contains natural bacterias that can help replenish the bacterial balance in the colon. The kombucha itself is the yeast/bacteria combination which is formed into what is called a ‘SCOBY’ or Symbiotic Colony of Yeast and Bacteria. The SCOBY looks like a slimy pancake; some people refer to it as the ‘mother.’

GT Kombucha

The ‘mother’ kombucha culture is what is used to make your own kombucha batches at home, in the same way that people brew their own beer. The kombucha drink will also become ‘fizzy’ when fermented, but the alcohol content is extremely minimal.

You can start your own kombucha culture by buying a container of GT Kombucha Drink from any WholeFoods store. Drink enough of the liquid to leave about 1/4 inside the glass; leave out at room temperature with the cap off but covered in cloth. In about one week, you will see your very own SCOBY pancake floating on top and you are ready to start fermenting!

All of the details on how to make your own Kombucha at home are detailed in the above video, filmed at my friend’s organic farm in Maui, Hawaii. Here is a brief set of directions which I received when I purchased my SCOBY online through Dom’s Kefir Grains:

Directions for Kombucha:

1. Prepare tea with 4 teaspoons of conventional loose tea or 4 teabags in 4 cups of boiling water. Steep for 5 minutes. (Green tea, black tea or a combination is suitable).

2. Strain tea in an 8-cup glass jar and dissolve 1/3 cups sugar (either raw sugar or organic refined white sugar).

3. Let sweetened tea cool to room temperature, then pour kombucha ‘mother’ with the solution in which she was stored.

4. Place a clean cloth or paper napkin over the mouth of the jar and secure in place with an elastic rubber band.

5. Ferment, leaving undisturbed, for 7-12 days at room temperature range of 19C – 25C (66F – 79F).

6. Strain kombucha tea and repeat the whole process.

As for how much kombucha to drink daily to enjoy it’s health benefits, I would recommend about 1-2 cups per day or 250ml- 500ml daily. It’s a nice refreshing drink to enjoy on a hot day, and the natural bacteria will help with digestion and even can help stimulate the bowels, thus avoiding constipation. Kombucha can help lessen any overgrowth of candida and is good for anyone suffering from intestinal parasites. If you are addicted to pop or soft drinks, and are looking for a fizzy drink that is still considered healthy, kombucha is the drink for you.

More Healthy Recipes:

The Truth in Food Labeling – Food Additives to Avoid & Hidden Sources of MSG

Many people mistakenly think that flavor enhancers such as MSG (monosodium glutamate) are only in Chinese foods, and as long as they avoid Chinese foods, they are safe. Below you will see MSG in foods like Campbell’s soup, gravies and sauces. Taking a few minutes to scan food labels and make better choices in what you buy is the best investment you can make in your long-term health and longevity!

Some typical reactions that can occur from either MSG or the additives list below include: migraine headaches, insomnia, itchy rashes, asthma attacks, behavioral disorders, depression, heart irregularities, anxiety, arthritis, sinus problems and many digestive problems including diarrhea.

MSG, Ribonucleotides, Disodium Inosinate, and Disodium Guanylate are all flavor enhancers which add a salty, savory taste to foods.

They can be listed either by name or by additive number (sometimes called ‘E numbers’) as you will see below. Legally, these chemicals can also be ‘hidden’ in terms such as ‘spices,’ ‘yeast extract,’ ‘hydrolyzed vegetable protein,’ and ‘flavoring’ so I suggest avoiding products with any of these dodgy terms on the label.

MSG (E621) is known to cause migraine headaches and can also cause diarrhea. Ribonucleotide (E627, E635 or E631) is another salty food additive which can cause a itchy irritable rash, known as the ‘Ribo Rash.’ In my personal experience, I have seen Ribonucleotide (or Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate) cause a sudden rapid heart rate (up to 160 beats per minute) and also trigger anxiety attacks.

Let’s start looking at some labels.

Mmmm, mmmm, not so good!

Mmmm, mmmm, not so good!


Here we have a can of good ol’ fashioned Campbell’s Low Salt Chicken Soup. By all account it would appear to be healthy, in fact notice right on the label how it says ‘No MSG’ and ‘No Artificial Flavors.’ Well, I don’t know how they got away with that one, because if you look right on the ingredients list, you will see Disodium Inosinate and Disodium Guanylate, both nasty chemical flavor enhancers.

You will also see Yeast Extract and Soy Protein Concentrate – legally MSG can be hidden in these ingredients and they do not have to report MSG as an additive.

Anytime you see a ‘yeast extract’ or ‘protein extract or concentrate,’ beware. In fact, put it back on the shelf. You see, this is where manufacturers are the masters of marketing. Everyone knows MSG is bad for you, and the companies know that, so they label their products as having ‘No MSG’ knowing that you will think it is a healthier choice, but of course they still have to add flavor to their artificial unnatural devitalized foods, so they add it in the form of other chemical additives which you have never heard of. Until now!!

And really, just look at this so-called ‘mechanically separated chicken’ – I mean, what is that?? That alone should have you running towards the hills!

Instant Loss of Health!

Instant Loss of Health!

Next example.

Ok, here we have a Contintental Instant Cup of Beef Noodle Soup. They have done a good job of highlighting all the uses of wheat here, but they have not distracted me from seeing the truth.

The nasty hidden chemicals here will be in the yeast extract, herb extract, spice extract and flavor enhancer 635.

All spice, yeast, protein or even herb extracts can have MSG in them. Always watch for that term ‘extract,’ especially in salty foods.

And 635, well that is the mother of the Ribo Rash -in my opinion, it is the worst food additive of all time.

They are even nice enough to tell you that this product contains soy, wheat and milk, but they neglect to tell you about the cheap nasty chemicals in there too!

Be aware that the following additives contain MSG or free glutamate: hydrolysed vegetable protein, hydrolysed protein, hydrolsyed plant protein, yeast extract, sodium caseinate, calcium caseinate, hydrolysed oat flour. The following ingredients often contain MSG, even though it may not be declared on the label: malt extract, malt flavoring, stock, broth, natural beef or chicken flavoring, seasoning, spices.
– from the book ‘Avoid Chemicals in Your Food’, published by the Consumer’s Association of Penang

Ain't like it was back on the farm

Aint like it was back on the farm

In this example, we are looking at a can of Old El’ Paso Refried Beans. If you didn’t know the truth in food labelling, this one would completely pass you by.

But by now I hope you noticed the ‘yeast extract’ right away and also the ‘natural flavor.’ Again, both are legal terms used to hide MSG and the other flavor enhancers as well.

No - not the mac and cheese too!

No - not the mac and cheese too!

So much for the Chinese food guys….we are not anywhere near Asian foods and look at all the hidden nasties! Yes, it’s true, even the mac and cheese is chemically altered. See for yourself – ‘natural flavors, yeast extract, spice extract and flavor enhancer 635.’ And somehow it is ‘National Heart Foundation Approved.’ Hmmm. I wonder how many people have experienced an increased heart rate due to that 635. Are you starting to recognize the difference between good marketing and truth in labeling?

A bit of MSG with your Daal?

A bit of MSG with your Daal?

Man, they were doing so good up until the very last ingredient – MSG (E621), otherwise known as Monosodium Glutamate. In your innocent lentil daal!!

MSG is a major excitotoxin and is known to damage the part of the brain that governs many other systems in the body. This damage may appear as symptoms of the autonomic nervous system and endocrine system. Thus it can manifest in disrupted sleep patterns, food cravings, and persistent hunger, which often leads to obesity. MSG also induces migraine headaches, asthma attacks, behavioral disorders, depression, heart irregularities, restless leg syndrome, arthritis, sinus problems and many digestive problems including diarrhea.
– from the book ‘Is MSG Safe?’, published by the Consumer’s Association of Penang

UPDATE: A recent study from John Hopkins researchers published in the journal Neurology (26 April, 2013) found that a neurotransmitter involved in arousal known as glutamate is abnormally high in people suffering from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). They saw that the more glutamate found in the brains of people with RLS, the worse they slept.

Why do you think people have high concentrations of glutamate in their brain? From Monosodium Glutamate!!!

This is an epidemic, and in my opinion, a form of genocide, to kill people slowly without any smoking gun while making lots of money from prescribing them drugs along the way. There is really no more time to waste. We have to wake people up and show them the truth!

Tricky Food Labeling at it's Best

Tricky Food Labeling at it's Best

Here is a classic example of sneaky marketing used to hide what’s really in your food. Look at the Spaghettir Bolognese – they say right on the label that it has ‘No artificial flavors, No artificial preservatives, No Hydrogenated Fat and No Added MSG.’

Of course when you read the actual ingredients, you will see ‘yeast extract’ right there. And you know what that means by now, right? MSG!!

For a full list of terms that can have hidden MSG, go to the TruthinLabeling.org.

100% Natural, Real Stock??

100% Natural, Real Stock??

Again, the masters of marketing are luring us in with the simple photo and tag of 100% natural. Then you look at the ingredients, and what do you see? Yeast extract, natural flavors and spices. Hmmm.

Teriyaki Marinade Yeast Extract Spice Blah

Teriyaki Marinade Yeast Extract Spice Blah

Once again, the dreaded yeast extract and spice tells us that there are hidden dangers here – could be any of the flavor enhancers, but most likely MSG and ribonucleotides.

Oyster Sauce - Beware of 621, 635 and yeast extracts!

Oyster Sauce - Beware of 621, 635 and yeast extracts!

Finally, I wanted to show you an example of a label in a non-English language. As you can see, the food additive numbers are universal, meaning they are the same everywhere in the world. Here, in the oyster sauce, we have MSG which is written as ‘Monosodium Glutamate,’ and we also have yeast extract, oyster extract (yet another hidden source of MSG) and if that wasn’t enough we have ‘Flavor Enhancer 631,’ which in Malay is written as ‘Penambah Perisa 631.’ This is the Disodium Inosinate, a most definite nasty additive.

This post tells you what to avoid. In a future post, I will be featuring what I consider to be ‘safe and healthy’ alternatives to get you on the right track to better health. Stay tuned!

If you think you are having a reaction to ribonucleotides or you want to ask me specific questions about my rash, please do not hesitate to contact me. Also please be sure to read Sue Dengate’s site and educate yourself on the dangers of all of the nasty additives.

For additional information, read my personal story of suffering from the ‘Ribo Rash.’
More information and a full list of foods to avoid: List of foods that contain 635, 627 and 631.
Learn more about processed foods and how to improve the quality of your food: Are you eating Processed Foods? Improve the quality of your food, your health & your life!.

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Visions of the Big Island, Hawaii

Take a minute to enjoy the most amazing sights of Hawaii – the Big Island up close and personal.

There are 2 pages of pictures here so be sure to check out them all!

The aquaponics farm can be found at friendlyaquaponics.com. Be sure to check out their farm tour every Saturday on the Big Island of Hawaii. It is pretty amazing to see and not so hard to do yourself… The lettuce and taro growing from the trays looked pretty perfect and the best part is that there are no chemicals used! The fish in the system fertilize the water through their waste, a completely natural process with no depletion of minerals in the soils. This system could be the future of farming as we can continue to grow healthy food while giving Mother Earth time to regenerate and renew!

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Visions of Maui, Hawaii

Finally, some pics to share my from time in Maui, Hawaii! For one week, I stayed with my friends in Hana on their organic permaculture farm – it was so great simply harvesting our food every day, eating from the land and living so in tune with the earth! At that time, we had plenty of wild edible greens and fresh herbs so we made beautiful salads every day. We also had a lot of papaya and liliquoi – the Hawaiian passion fruit – my favorite! One day we even made fresh liliquoi juice concentrate…so much fun and yummy too!

I also taught Green Smoothie Classes in Wailea and gave individual Iridology sessions there as well. The response was overwhelming, and I was so happy to see people interested in their health, nutrition and natural healing. Hawaii is a fantastic destination for a healthy holiday and Maui especially has a lot to offer for raw foods and organic farming!

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Images of Natural, Healthy Hawaii…

An abundance of natural, healthy foods just waiting for you in Hawaii 🙂 Check pictures of the raw foods available, healthy restaurants, organic farming, aquanponics, vegan and vegetarian foods, local eateries, fresh fruits, farmers markets and even green smoothies.

All great reasons to go to Hawaii for a healthy holiday!

For 2 weeks of my time in Hawaii, I had a nice family vacation with my parents, sister, brother-in-law and nieces. We satyed at a posh condo villa place – huge resort, full of tourists, and I couldn’t help but think what a perfect place this would be for a detox fasting spa. It’s ideal really, with beach, sun, pools, massage, nice views, relaxing time – if they offered a fasting program here I would totally do it!

Maybe in a few years the rest of the world will be ready for cleansing…certainly more and more people could use it!

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Life on an Organic Farm in Hana Maui, Hawaii – Video Tour!

I’ve got 7 clips up on youtube showing all the fun we had on the farm in Hana Maui, Hawaii! Check them out – I’ve got farm shots, chicken shots, unidentifiable bug shots, goat shots, pond swimming and a general tour of the farm. And, coming soon…the full how-to video on making kombucha at home! Enjoy and let me know what you think!

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Raw Food Restaurants and Healthy Options in Maui, Hawaii

With a wonderful variety of fresh tropical fruits and amazing veggies and greens, Hawaii is a fantastic holiday destination for raw food enthusiasts. The island of Maui is a popular spot for tourists and has a well-established raw food community as well.

Joy's place in Kihei, Maui - great spot for a health feed!

Joy\’s place in Kihei, Maui – great spot for a health feed!

There are 3 main restaurants serving raw food dishes in Maui. Perhaps the most established restaurant serving raw food in Maui is called Joy’s in Kihei. It is a small place with a nice friendly atmosphere and offers both eat-in and take-away options. Joy is a wonderfully warm and kind woman and is genuinely interested in serving healthy, delicious foods. Some of her dishes include a live wrap with ginger sesame dressing, a nut burger in collard greens, peppermint cacao truffles, live coconut chocolate ice cream, and green smoothies made to order. Joy’s is open Monday to Saturday, 8:30am – 3:30pm.

Joy showing one of her yummy creations

Joy showing one of her yummy creations

Another store serving raw foods is Mana Foods in Paia, on the road to Hana. Mana is a natural foods store also selling health foods, produce and fresh juices, and has a case of fresh raw foods for take-away every day. Jason, their raw food chef, is known best for his eggless egg salad, carrot ginger soup and sesame miso nori rolls. Other Mana favorites include their key lime pie, strawberry cheesecake and hazel fudge brownies. Mana Foods is open 7 days from 8:30am – 8:30pm. There is no eat-in service available.

Love the beard.. Scott at Alive & Well, Maui

Love the beard.. Scott at Alive & Well, Maui

Finally there is Alive and Well in Kahului which serves pre-prepared raw foods in their take-away case. Their options include a thin slice pizza, raw cole slaw and chocolate cherry torta.

Checking out a local market near Lahaina, Maui

Checking out a local market near Lahaina, Maui

Fresh farmer’s markets are a great source of local fruits and vegetables and are usually open a few days per week at various locations around the island. There are also a few locations of Jamba Juice around Maui, a similar chain to Boost Juice serving fresh juice and wheatgrass shots. A Whole Foods supermarket is due to open in Kahului in January 2010 which will be a great option for salads, juices and raw food take-aways.

Plan to have rawesome time in Maui!

This article was published in Living Raw magazine in Australia.

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Detox Craze – Is it good, bad or just hype?

Juicing is a great way to detox the body, mind & spirit

Juicing is a great way to detox the body, mind & spirit

Everyone these days seems to either be on a detox, just done a detox or is planning a detox. People are talking about the ‘Master Cleanse,’ fasting, cleansing and colonics like never before. Is it normal or even healthy for someone to consider not eating for a few days up to a week? Will there be any lasting benefits? Is it something you should be doing?

Ultimately only you can answer these questions. Personally I have been doing detox programs and different types of cleanses and fasts for the last 12 years, and I think it is the best thing I have even done for my body. Every time I do a cleanse I feel healthier, more in balance, lighter, purified of negative thoughts, more spiritual and much more in tune with myself. I have done 1 day, 28 days and everything in between, always testing the limits of what these programs can do so I can better help my clients.

BUT I don’t think fasting is for everyone.

If you are very stressed, toxic or sick, it can be a big shock to your body to go right into a cleanse, and you could end up doing more harm than good. I think it is always best to go gently into these programs, allowing your body time to build its vitamin and mineral reserve so it has all the elements it needs for healing.

If you want to try a detox program but prefer to get a feel of it for yourself at home first, I would suggest trying a 3-day fruit only diet. For 3 days, try to eat nothing but fresh fruits, including sweet fruits like pineapple, apple, papaya and banana as well as savory fruits like cucumber, tomato, bell pepper and zucchini. This is a great mini-cleanse and can be done at any time, without having to pay a lot of money or invest a lot of time to start feeling the results. If after 3 days you still feel good, you can continue for 5 or even 7 days. After 7 days of eating only fruit, I always feel stronger, healthier and better in every way. I lose a few unwanted pounds, my skin becomes clearer, my hair shines more and my bowel movements become so healthy, easy and regular!!

Eventually you might want to consider doing a full Master Cleanse or another fast or detox. In my opinion, doing a cleanse is a great way to allow the body to naturally catch up and clear out any excess toxic buildup. But the benefits only last if you change your diet and lifestyle after the cleanse and eat better foods, living a more natural, whole and pure lifestyle long-term.

If you do a detox, be sure to avoid too much retox!

If you have any specific medical conditions, please consult your medical doctor before doing any type of cleanse.

This article written by Jennifer Thompson on 27 July, 2009 for woman.ca

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